There are two distinct forms of poker: 1. Online poker, which you play on a computer usually against faceless opponents and 2. Live poker where you are face-to-face with other players.
The Card Table on iOS attempts to link together those two forms of poker by utilizing a community iPad and individual iPhones.
While The Card Table isn’t strictly a poker game (you can play most card games) it’s one of the first apps that lets you play a local online poker game without the need for internet.
Here’s how it works:
1. Download The Card Table on an iPad an multiple iPhones or iTouches.
2. You set the iPad in the middle of the table (or floor) and then connect multiple iPhones via The Card Table app.
3. Hole cards will be sent directly to each mobile device while the iPad acts as the community table.
4. Cards can seamlessly be dragged from iPhones to iPad.
You can choose the amount of cards every player receives on their individual mobile device and even place cards face-up in front of their section of the table (making more complicated games like Stud possible).
The app, which was created by BYU students, is completely free.
Why Should You Care?
Card games over local networks are still a relatively new concept. The Open-Face Chinese Poker app on iOS has proven that it's convenient to have a computer handle the dealing.
In addition the app would be a useful tool for playing on the train or somewhere that actual playing cards would be hard to set up. Especially when no internet is available.
Considering the app was made by students this is something that elite online poker sites such as 888poker or PokerStars could develop as a side project to build brand awareness or simply to get people interested in poker like the .Net sites.
The Card Table has an open-source feel to it with future skins and game rules in development.
Where it Falls Short for Poker
Well if you don’t already have an iPhone and iPad you’re looking at hundreds of dollars in equipment to play a game that is usually played with a $1.99 deck of cards.
There’s no betting in the app, which means you’ll need chips or something to keep track of the game, which mitigates its usefulness.
It’s also only for iOS so Android and Windows Phone users are completely locked out right now.
The Card Table actually requires more work than the standard poker app because you have to set up all the cards unlike other games that take things like putting on the flop out of the equation.